To ignore Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric today is perhaps worse than ignoring Hitler’s threats against world Jewry prior to the Holocaust.
26 November '10
No matter how many prizes Prof. Robert Wistrich’s massive tome A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad garners, the book still deserves more attention than it has received. Indeed no amount of attention would be sufficient.
Its packed 938 pages of text reflect neither authorial grandiosity nor editorial lassitude. The copious detail amassed is required so that Wistrich’s central arguments not be dismissed as cherry-picked quotes used to exaggerate the seriousness of the phenomena under discussion. Random House, a commercial publisher, did not request him to cut a single sentence.
A Lethal Obsession stands as a refutation of three widespread misconceptions fostered in the West, partly out of ignorance and partly out of fear. The first is that radical Islam is a relatively minor phenomenon in the Muslim world. On his recent visit to India, US President Barack Obama provided a good example of Western ignorance or dissembling. Asked about jihad, he began his reply by insisting that jihad has several meanings in Islamic thought. Wrong. In contemporary Muslim discourse, jihad invariably refers to conquest to establish the domain of Islam.
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